Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week Bennett looks at the whole lot of new comics coming from Marvel, and a couple of gems from DC.

Hopefully your store got its box of free copies of All-New, All-Different Marvel Previews, a  64-page full color magazine which has brief looks at the first 45 (of the 55-60) All-New, All-Different Marvel titles.  I stopped by Super-Fly Comics & Games yesterday and got a chance to take a look at it and it's a pretty nice looking piece of promotion.  But then it really needs to be because Marvel is going to need all of their base behind them this Fall because this, this is a whole lot of comic books.

Starting (or starting over) with #1 is Invincible Iron Man, A-Force, All-New All-Different Avengers, Uncanny Avengers, New Avengers, Ultimates, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Sam Wilson, Captain America, The Totally Awesome Hulk, The Mighty Thor, Scarlet Witch, Ms. Marvel, Illuminati, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, The Vision, Contest of Champions, Amazing Spider-Man, Carnage, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, Silk, Spider-Man 2099, Web Warriors, Daredevil, Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax, Howard the Duck, Nova, Star-Lord, Venom: Spaceknight, Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Uncanny Inhumans, Karnak, Angela: Asgard's Assassin, Squadron Supreme, Extraordinary X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men, Old Man Logan, All-New Wolverine, and Deadpool.

As you'll recall from last week's column (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--And That’s A Good Thing"), I referred to Miles Morales as "the main" Spider-Man because I had no doubt that Peter Parker would also be suiting up at some point.  I did kind of think that they would give the man at least a couple of months off first, though, but no, there he is in Amazing Spider-Man #1.

With a list this long there would pretty much have to be at least a few Marvel titles in my personal wheelhouse, like The Totally Awesome Hulk, The Mighty Thor, Squadron Supreme, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman and Howard the Duck.  I've put a question mark next to Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. (it's hard to resist a team-up that includes both Hit Monkey and classic 50's Lee/Kirby monster Googam).  And then there’s Venom: Spaceknight.  I'm pretty sure nobody wants or needs Venom: Spaceknight.

But I definitely shouldn't judge comic books sight unseen.  Two weeks ago (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Business As Usual"), I made some less than complimentary comments about the concept behind the then still upcoming DC comic Doomed, based on the fact that it features a young protagonist who's secretly a Were-Doomsday.  So, I basically wrote it off as a Spider-Man/Incredible Hulk mash-up, until I read the first issue by Scott Lobdell and Javi Fernandez.  The focus this issue is almost entirely on our lead, Reiser (one can only assume his parents were fans of the Paul Reiser 80s sitcom Mad About You), an African-American college freshmen with a gay roommate and a white aunt who's exhibiting signs of dementia.  The most amazing thing about all this?  None of that seemed in any way forced.   Boy, it really is a new inclusive era for DC Comics.

I keep saying I'm looking for the unexpected, well, I must confess I was ever so slightly stunned by how much I enjoyed this comic.  The rest of the premise (protagonist has industrial accident, becomes monster, fights monsters) is pretty predictable,  But that's ok because the main reason to keep reading Doomed is Reiser; there's no contrived attempt to make him stridently millennial or, worse yet, artificially "urban."  He's that rarest of commodities in superhero comics today, a genuinely nice guy.
Another new DC title which genuinely surprised me was Doctor Fate.  I've been a long-time fan of writer Paul Levitz, especially his work on Justice Society of America, which is probably why I didn't this coming from him.  The uncomfortable orientalism (white guy goes to "the mystic Orient," appropriates their mysticism) lurking at the heart of so many comic book magicians is sidestepped by having our hero be Khalid "Kent" Nassour, an Egyptian-American med student.  He's the recipient of the helmet and amulet of Nabu, though in this iteration missing from the gift set is his cape and the golden superhero suit that went with it; instead Khalid battles evil in a much more practical hoodie.  And in a field that's currently overcrowded with investigators of the supernatural, Levitz has also come up with a unique take on the genre.  Doctor Fate is definitely a comic book worth checking out.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of